• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Are reason and emotion equal in justifying moral decisions?

Extracts from this document...


´╗┐Are reason and emotion equally necessary in justifying moral decisions Emotion and reason are both important in justifying moral decisions but i think that emotion plays a bigger part because it is connected with one?s conscience. The conscience is the inward feeling that tells you wether you did something wrong or right. This comparison of importance between emotion and reason in justifying moral decisions can be likened to the way the heart and the brain are both important for life, but the heart determines wether one is alive or not. One?s brain can stop functioning and cause one to be unconscious but if the heart is still functioning, the person is alive. Although an unconscious person can be considered as good as dead, there is a fine line that distinguishes the importance between the heart and the brain because there is still hope for an unconscious person to recover in most cases but when one?s heart stops functioning, there is no hope in most cases. ...read more.


he approves.? Moral standards based on reason do not make one happy, for example, in a situation by where one is in a dilemma to choose between a competent leader and a friend who is incompetent for leadership. Emotion will give you reasonable justifications for voting for your friend, like that your friend is more likely to serve you and listen to you, whilst reason will tell you that the competent leader is better for the whole population but voting for him would be irrational. So in this situation, emotion influences reason whilst reason cannot influence emotion because it would be contradicting itself. Therefore from the voter?s point of view, following his emotion would be the right thing to do in this situation but the population would find it wrong because their emotions would also influence their reason. In brief, it is observed that emotion guides each group?s moral decisions more than reason because emotion influences reason. On the other hand, reason might question one?s moral standards based on emotion. ...read more.


For example if a hardworking rich man lives an extravagant lifestyle in a very poor and lazy community without even trying to help them, from a reason?s perspective it is right because he worked hard for what he has while they didn?t ,but it would be considered morally wrong because he is able to help the hunger-stricken community but he does not. On the other hand, if the rich man is fully emotional and works hard for the whole community for the rest of his life whilst they are idle, it would be unfair because the community is able to work but it decides to exploit the rich man. So this shows that emotion and reason are interdependent in terms of making moral decisions, too much of emotion or reason can be immoral. So although one might argue that emotion and reason are equally necessary for making moral decisions because they are interdependent, i still believe that emotion has more importance because it subdues reason in most cases of making moral decisions, just the way a car and a human being are interdependent for faster travelling so are emotion and reason interdependent but the human being and the emotion are more important. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge essays

  1. Free essay

    Are reason and emotion equally necessary in justifying moral decisions?

    rather than a source of it.5 Therefore it is hard for a person that has strong feelings of emotion to think reasonably. Let's take the example of a man that is angry that his wife had an affair, he may act irrationally and choose to threaten her with a knife.

  2. Reason and emotion

    To understand all the different stages of mitosis, one has to know about DNA and other elements, then using reasoning one can link the information together to give it meaning by putting it in context. In Biology like in many areas of knowledge rules and patterns have been created, and any new information is generated from those rules and patterns.

  1. Reason And Emotion

    and we are introduced to the areas of art and music, where the systematic trend of reasoning seems to transition into that of emotion. Since art is based around a subjective and personal medium, emotions tend to play a bigger role in determining knowledge, due to the ability to communicate

  2. are reason and emotion equally necessary in the justifying a moral decision

    But she does it anyway as she thought it to be the right thing to do. In this case her actions would be considered moral. In this example we see that the woman involved both emotion as well as rationality in her decision making.

  1. Are Reason and Emotion Equally Necessary in Justifying Moral Decisions?

    A "categorical imperative"5 guides us rationally and is based on the principles that we should act in ways that our actions could become universal laws of human behavior and that people should be valued as rational beings with personal aspirations.6 However, while the ability to reason may allow us to

  2. It is All in the Reason

    The idea that success is directly linked to IQ is true, but the relationship between success and IQ is only proportional up to a certain point. At somewhere around 120, the linear line flattens into a plateau, and all further increase in IQ is insignificant in measuring success in the real world (Gladwell 79).

  1. Can Emotion be rational?

    behavior and wear the helmet even though I know the boy will see me when I take it off. Now I could experience relief because reason tells me that if I had had an accident, the helmet could have saved my life!.

  2. Justification, what distinguishes a good justification from a bad one?

    At the same time emotions can also provide us with energy to pursue to knowledge. Physiologist Antonio Damasio speculates that emotions are sources of knowledge and they help us make rational decisions about things. Some Areas of Knowledge like Ethics require emotions to give us a better understanding of the truth.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work